Magazine Article


Lights, Camera Phones, Action!

The subject of security is often mentioned in the same sentence with camera phone. I've read where they have been banned from YMCA's, schools, military installations that deal in security matters and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California. Also, a recent news article indicated lawmakers in Colorado and Ohio were considering statutes on their use. Personally, I feel the palm-sized digital cameras that are so common are no less a threat but have not caused the same rumpus.

A more real threat might be posed in the process of transferring the image from the camera phone to the kiosk. In the case of a transfer via Bluetooth, for example, the signal could be captured by more than the kiosk itself even though the sending phone should be selectively "shaking hands" with only one receiver. It would not be impossible, I'm told, for another receiver to grab the same image. Not good. It could lead to some mischief by the same types that get their jollies by peppering the internet with viruses and worms.

It recalls the earliest days of the one-hour business when the minilab owner was anxious to show the public his new toy and what it could do. He positioned the equipment in a way that casual passers-by could watch the prints as they came out of the dryer.

Now that was an x-rated performance that puts today's privacy mentality to shame.

Photo Me Introduces First Digital Minilab w/Dye-Sub

Photo Me, International has mixed two technologies and displayed the first product that combines a traditional minilab using dye-sublimation output for prints rather than traditional RA-4 photo print output.

Phogenix was the first to break the chemical print mold with its inkjet system that was pulled from the market by its owners, HP and Kodak, before the first production was shipped. Noritsu, however, stimulated by Phogenix, developed an inkjet output minilab with Epson and this unit has been on the market as its dDP-411 for about a year with some success.

Photo Me introduced at the show its DKS-900, marrying its regular digital minilab exposure system with a series of Mitsubishi dye-sub printers, an industry first. With two printers the system is rated at 240, 4R, prints/hr.; two more printers doubles the capacity, according to Kevin Donahue, president and CEO of Digital Portal, Inc., U.S. distributor for Photo Me equipment.

Kevin said the system, with four printers, would be priced at about $32,000-$35,000 with the Photo Me IM 1500 scanner and would be available by this year's photokina. He estimated media print cost would be about 18-cents per 4x6 cut.

Photo Me also unveiled its Symphonia kiosk, a system employing two dye sub print ers and a touch screen monitor. The kiosk is designed with optional credit card swiper and/or dollar bill collector. Priced at about $12,000 it will be available in June, according to Kevin.

Photo Me had on display its line of digital minilabs, models DKS-1510, 1530 and 1550 ranging in price from $79,500 (800, 4R output, 8-inch paper) to $109,500 (1,500, 4R output, 10-inch paper.) Mark Lawrence, director of marketing, said Digital Portal now had a sales and service staff dedicated to the Photo Me equipment serving U.S. customers.

A Correction

The Fuji Frontier Manager, a system designed to efficiently manage orders from various sources that feed into the Frontier minilab, is priced at $19,500. In a February story, the price was shown to be $13,000.